This article was originally published on Microdose Psychedelic Insights and appears here with permission.
Albert Hofmann, the famous Swiss scientist best known for discovering the psychedelic drug, LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), would have turned 115 years old today. Endearingly called “The Father of LSD”, Hofmann lived to the ripe old age of 102 and his powerful legacy still lives on to this day. A powerful catalyst for the counterculture movement of the 60’s and 70’s, LSD also showed immense therapeutic potential for neuropsychiatric disorders in its early days.
Hofmann Discovered LSD in 1938 When Trying to Create a Circulatory & Respiratory Stimulant
Hofmann discovered the drug in 1938 while working for the Swiss pharmaceutical company Sandoz. His pursuit of isolating, purifying and synthesizing active compounds from medicinal plants led him to ultimately create LSD from ergot, a rye fungus. Hofmann was initially trying to create a circulatory and respiratory system stimulant, which LSD was not. Due to lack of pharmacologist and physician interest, testing was discontinued and LSD sat on the shelf for five years before Hofmann revisited the compound.
Hofmann Tries LSD for the First Time in 1943
After a constant feeling that something important about LSD may have been missed, Hofmann decided to synthesize it again in 1943. After about twenty micrograms of the substance accidentally found its way onto Hofmann’s hands, he reported having a remarkable experience. A few days later, Hofmann intentionally ingested 250 micrograms of LSD and had the first acid trip in human history. Hofmann would eventually go on a bicycle ride during the peak of his experience, giving rise to “bicycle day” being recognized across the world on April 19th, the day of his fateful journey.
Hofmann Recounts His Incredible Experience in His Book LSD: My Problem Child
Hofmann vividly recounts his experience in his book LSD: My Problem Child, “Kaleidoscopic, fantastic images surged in on me, alternating, variegated, opening and then closing themselves in circles and spirals, exploding in colored fountains, rearranging and hybridizing themselves in constant flux,” he wrote. “It was particularly remarkable how every acoustic perception, such as the sound of a door handle or a passing automobile, became transformed into optical perceptions. Every sound generated a vividly changing image, with its own consistent form and color.” Hofmann’s experience, described in explicit detail, would end up sparking incredible interest in the compound from scientists and psychonauts alike.
From Problematic & Prohibited Drug to Promising Medicine with Clinical Potential: LSD’s Troubled Past and Promising Future
Despite early studies showing significant promise of LSD as a novel neuropsychiatric medicine, the sweeping arm of prohibition effectively halted any and all research into psychedelics in 1966. It wasn’t until several decades later that scientists began exploring it’s therapeutic potential once again. The recent mainstream interest in microdosing has helped LSD popularity to surge back into the mainstream. Furthermore, recent clinical trials have shown LSD microdosing to be as effective as opioids in the treatment of chronic pain. Finally, the first human trials combining LSD and MDMA, a combination known as “candyflipping” by psychonauts and ravers alike, is also poised to launch soon. While LSD has indeed had a troubled history, a recent interest in psychedelics is once again bringing it into the spotlight.
Commemorating Hofmann: the Father of LSD and a True Psychedelic Pioneer
Albert Hofmann, through his discovery of LSD and the powerful recounting of his personal experience, continues to have a powerful influence on the world today. As the psychedelic renaissance continues to unfold, the therapeutic potential of LSD is likely to become further elucidated by scientists and researchers from around the world. When they do, Hofmann’s powerful legacy is sure to live on through their contributions and discoveries.
Read the original Article on Microdose Psychedelic Insights.
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